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GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. yields hit new peaks, stocks drop with Fed at hand

· 03/17/2021 11:01
GLOBAL MARKETS-U.S. yields hit new peaks, stocks drop with Fed at hand

Investors watching for signs of faster policy normalization

Fed statement due at 1400 EDT/1800 GMT

Russian rouble hit by Biden comments on Putin

MSCI global share gauge down, tech stocks weaker

Updates with opening of U.S. markets, changes dateline from London

By Lewis Krauskopf

- Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields hit a fresh 13-month high and a gauge of global stocks dropped on Wednesday as investors awaited the highly anticipated outcome of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

The Russian rouble weakened by more than 1% after U.S. President Joe Biden said his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will "pay a price" for directing efforts to meddle in the 2020 U.S. presidential election. nL1N2LF0W2

Fed policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 at the fastest rate in decades as COVID-19 vaccinations rise and a $1.9 trillion relief package aids households. nL1N2L82OT

Ahead of the Fed statement expected at 1400 EDT/1800 GMT, the yield on the benchmark U.S. Treasury note rose to 1.676%.

"This is one of the most important Fed meetings we've had for some time and the impact will be felt across asset classes," said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

"Markets are hoping for reassurance from the Fed that rising bond yields are not something to worry about, and that takes a bit of steam out of the bond market."

On Wall Street, the rise in bond yields continued to pressure stocks, including tech and growth shares.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 7.85 points, or 0.02%, to 32,833.8, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 16.06 points, or 0.41%, to 3,946.65 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 96.22 points, or 0.71%, to 13,375.35.

"Market is of the view that the 10-year yield could be higher and if the Fed signals anything that matches that view, we could see yields jump past the 2% mark," said Arthur Weise, chief investment officer at Kingsland Growth Advisors.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX lost 0.51% and MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS shed 0.43%.

Benchmark 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 8/32 in price to yield 1.6497%, from 1.623% late on Tuesday.

In currencies trading, the dollar index =USD rose 0.002%, with the euro EUR= up 0.09% to $1.1911.

The sell-off in the rouble intensified after Biden was quoted by ABC News as saying that Putin will face consequences for directing efforts to swing last year's U.S. election in Donald Trump's favor. nL1N2LF0WA

"There will be more sanctions coming, that is clear. The question is how severe?" said North Asset Management's Peter Kisler.

Oil slipped for a fourth day as concerns about weaker demand in Europe outweighed an industry report that showed U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fell last week. nL1N2LF08O

U.S. crude CLc1 recently fell 0.52% to $64.46 per barrel and Brent LCOc1 was at $67.93, down 0.67% on the day.

Emerging markets http://tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV

Global asset performance http://tmsnrt.rs/2yaDPgn

Tolerated Inflation Hump?https://tmsnrt.rs/3qV72Xj

A steeper U.S. Treasury yield curvehttps://tmsnrt.rs/3tsINRP

World FX rates http://tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

(Additionl reporting by Shashank Nayar and Medha Singh in Bengaluru, Dhara Ranasinghe in London; Editing by Catherine Evans and Elaine Hardcastle)

((lewis.krauskopf@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-6082; Reuters Messaging: lewis.krauskopf.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net, Twitter: @LKrauskopf))